The OCLC Research Library Partnership

SHARES Sharing Special Collections Working Group

The OCLC SHARES Sharing Special Collections Working Group invites the SHARES community to offer feedback through 30 June 2021 on proposed Principles and Protocols for Sharing Special Collections through Interlibrary Loan between SHARES members. The Working Group encourages local discussions among interlibrary loan practitioners, special collections curators/staff, administrators, digitization units, mailroom personnel, as well as other local stakeholders and welcomes their feedback through a survey accessible within the document.  

Download Draft Principles and Protocols

View the webinar

These draft Principles and Protocols are meant to reflect the SHARES philosophy of liberal lending policies which promote access, enrich research, and support a collaborative environment between partner libraries. The purpose of the Principles and Protocols isto establish common expectations among SHARES libraries when requesting or supplying special collections materials while also allowing flexibility and customization within local workflows. The proposed Protocols address:

  • scanning articles/chapters from special collections works;
  • digitizing entire out-of-copyright works; and
  • borrowing and lending selective physical items from special collections.

Participation in sharing special collections through interlibrary loan would be voluntary among SHARES members, but the proposed Principles and Protocols—once finalized based upon your feedback—would govern the process for both requesting and supplying libraries. Interlibrary loan is defined as obtaining material as a copy or loan for a requesting individual's own personal research and excludes materials obtained for exhibition loan. Special Collections include rare, distinctive, and/or valuable items of any format that are under controlled access and separate from a library's general circulating collection.

These proposed Principles and Protocols are informed by the ACRL/RBMS Guidelines for Interlibrary and Exhibition Loan of Special Collections Material, the Big Ten Academic Alliance Principles and Protocols for Interlibrary Loan of Special Collections Materials, the OCLC Research Report Tiers for Fears: Sensible, Streamlined Sharing of Special Collections, and information gathered from the SHARES community in a 2019 survey regarding members' current practices.

Background

Libraries are increasingly comfortable lending legacy formats such as A/V, microforms, or bound serials through interlibrary loan. However, sharing of special collections materials via interlibrary loan remains a challenge for many due to concerns about the safety of the material, workflow, approval processes, and other issues.

The SHARES Sharing Special Collections Working Group was formed in September 2018 to explore the interlending of materials from special collections among members of the SHARES resource sharing consortium. This working group came into being as an outcome of the 2018–2019 SHARES Policy Rethink’s third theme, Enhancing Access.

Impacts

In keeping with the SHARES philosophy of liberal lending policies and supporting a collaborative environment among partner libraries, this working group’s goals are:

  • To gather information on the current state of sharing special collections through interlibrary loan across SHARES; 
  • To promote the sharing of special collections materials among SHARES libraries through interlibrary loan; and 
  • To develop a framework of sharing protocols that will establish common expectations among SHARES libraries when borrowing or lending special collections materials.  

After the framework is completed, this working group will act as a resource for two other SHARES groups. The separate SHARES Best Practices Working Group will seek to develop specific steps libraries can take to implement the proposed framework, allowing for local customization. Finally, the SHARES Executive Group as a leadership body will amplify and publicize this ILL-Special Collections collaborative work. They will develop any needed training for practitioners and will also guide any process related to updating the official SHARES policies.

Anticipated outputs

The major deliverables will be a webinar and interim report on the results of a survey of SHARES partners regarding their current policies and workflows around sharing special collections, and a final report detailing the sharing protocols developed to establish common expectations among SHARES libraries when borrowing or lending special collections materials.

Download Survey Results Report

Working group membership

Brian Miller (Chair)
Head, Interlibrary Services
Ohio State University Libraries

Ralph Baylor
Head of Interlibrary Loan
Frick Art Reference Library

Lesliediana Jones
Head of Document Services
Jacob Burns Law Library
George Washington University

Richard Saladino
Art, Architecture and Design Librarian
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
2018–2020

Lynn Wexler
Reference Librarian
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
2018–2019

Chela Scott Weber
Senior Program Officer
OCLC Research Library Partnership

Dennis Massie
Senior Program Officer
OCLC Research Library Partnership